Story: Landslides

Scorched earth

Scorched earth

In southern Hawke’s Bay around 1910, a log is carted to a mill along a bush railway, cut into a burnt-out hillside. Burning and milling deforested much of the North Island’s hill country. Through the root systems of trees, forests help to bind together soil and vegetation. They also protect bare soil from the erosive forces of flowing water. Once the forests were removed from hill country with underlying soft sedimentary rocks, common in the North Island, landslide rates increased dramatically.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Sydney Charles Smith Collection (PA-Group-00242)
Reference: 1/2-071686; F
Photograph by Sydney Charles Smith

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Michael J. Crozier, 'Landslides - Gravity always wins', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/8784/scorched-earth (accessed 8 December 2019)

Story by Michael J. Crozier, published 12 Jun 2006